Thousands of people gathered in Lilongwe’s Area 12 at the Khondowe’s residence to pay tribute to the late Blandina Khondowe who passed on on Saturday after a long battle with cancer.
The 2002 Miss Malawi beauty, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013, will be remembered for her selfless role in enhancing breast cancer visibility to give women life-saving help for the disease.
Through her Think Pink Malawi Movement, she mobilised people from different backgrounds in raising Cancer awareness and brought together like-minded individuals to champion the cause.
One of her colleagues from the Movement Eleanor Nkosi who met Khondowe 25 years ago, hailed her tireless efforts in improving other people’s lives while fighting her own personal battle and pain.
She said her infectious smile inspired many to get involved in the campaign.
“Our hearts are heavy but with guidance, support and passion we remain committed to create a passionate community. Her love and life remain in all. She lived her very best life and will forever remain our Miss Malawi,” lamented Nkosi
Her friend Lillian Kawaza described her as an activist and patriot who believed in God and held on to the most high God in her pain and saw God in anything she did.
A mother to Benjamin and Zoe, she saw her battle as an opportunity to create awareness with emphasis on early detection to save lives.
She got married in 2010 and was three years later diagnosed with Breast cancer and sought treatment in India and recovered later on.
In April this year, she started getting persistent headaches and three tumours were detected in her head in May 2020 which had spread to the brain.
The family tried all they could to save her life but unfortunately she passed on on Saturday.
In his eulogy her brother who was at pains to come to terms with her passing, acknowledged that life is for the living and that their sister has run her race.
Born on 12 October 1980, she joined the Ministry of Tourism as a Tourism officer in January 2008 where she rose to the position of Principal tourism officer.
She was the face of tourism and used her platform to market the country’s tourism and her employer described her as an easy goer yet principled and that her contributions will be greatly missed.
President Lazarus Chakwera who paid tribute to the cancer activist on his Tweeter handle, briefly attended the ceremony and gave the family one million Kwacha as he proceeded to be part of the burial of one of his secretaries.
His Vice Saulos Chilima attended the ceremony and gave K800,000 to the bereaved family.